Best Camera for Macro Photography

Best Camera for Macro Photography

If you decide to purchase a macro photography camera, you must clearly understand its functionality. First of all, this type of camera should be used for shooting at short distances. Such models allow you to focus on the object and be very close to it. If you are planning to photograph small items at a size equal to 1:1 ratio or more, the best camera for macro photography will be an excellent choice. I offer you a list of 12 most suitable cameras for this genre.

best camera for macro photography

12 Best Cameras for Macro Photography

best camera for macro photography

Macro photography gives you an incredible opportunity to explore and capture the tiniest details of the surrounding world. Using the Macro Mode, which is available in digital cameras, you can get good focus even if your lens is not far from the object. 

Some macro cameras allow you to shoot less than one inch from an object. Others require you to keep the lens a little further. Look through my overview of the top 12 models and you will understand why they suit macro photography best of all.


1. Olympus TG-5

Olympus TG-5 best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Durable body that is perfect for travelers
  • RAW files support
  • It is possible to record 4K video
  • GPS/action tracking
  • Bright daytime shots
Cons-
  • Confusing interface
  • Poor battery life
 

This is one of the best camera for macro photos. You can take high-quality pictures with a high level of detail. JPEG images look a little bit blurry and softened when you zoom in. Perhaps, additional layers of glass cause this effect. However, photos look great when they are at normal size. A 25-point contrast-detect AF system works perfectly. It is fast and reliable.

I’d also like to draw attention to the impressive autofocus capabilities in terms of macro photography. The range of focal lengths allows you to focus on the object at a distance of up to 0.4 inches (1 centimeter). Besides, it features a "microscope" focusing mode. Using it, you can bring the focus closer but you will compromise on the image quality.

The disadvantage of 4K video mode is that the image is too soft while viewing it on the big screen. You can record amazing 1080p video in the slow-motion mode at the speed of 120fps.

sample photo Olympus TG-5 Photo taken by Olympus TG-5
  • Who said that the higher the price - the better? Read this guide to budget cameras if you are going to buy a camera under 1000 dollars.

2. Fujifilm X-T10

Fujifilm X-T10 best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Wonderful build
  • Stunning pictures
  • Various manual controls
Cons-
  • No weather protection
  • Advanced Filter option and sensitivity expansion are available only for JPEG files
 

This Fuji close up camera is great for shooting the smallest objects. JPEG images feature high contrast mid-tones. Thus, the pictures are film-like, bright, and sharp. Unfortunately, the dynamic range could be higher. The camera has a general purpose Multi-zone metering system which helps take quite bright pictures. However, be careful and watch the histogram not to miss the brighter areas.

You can also restore some highlight details from RAW images. This macro digital Fujifilm camera has several options of color modes. You can use them to make the image look like classic film shots (for example, Astia and Velvia). As a result, this digital blend gives incredible results and your photos look natural and more attractive. Finally, the single AF mode impresses with its sharpness and speed.

Recommended camera lens:

FUJIFILM XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro Lens

This telephoto lens for contactless X-mount cameras works using two different focus groups. It can maintain decent image quality throughout the entire focus range. The linear motor provides fast autofocus.

sample photo Fujifilm X-T10 Photo taken by Fujifilm X-T10
  • If the photo quality matters for you but you have a limited budget on photo equipment, look through my overview of inexpensive full frame cameras for deep colors on your images.

3. Canon EOS Rebel T6i

Canon EOS Rebel T6i best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • 24MP APS-C format sensor
  • Amazing touchscreen and button/dial control mix
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • A variable screen angle
Cons-
  • Only 95% frame coverage
  • Takes some time to set an AF point
 

Pay attention to this Canon if you are looking for the best DSLR camera for macro photography. Aluminum alloy and polycarbonate resin with a fiberglass chassis make it a pretty solid for an entry-level DSLR. This camera is comfortable and safe due to the textured covers with a deep grip on the front and a small thumb on the back. Following the design of other Canon DSLR cameras, this model has a quick menu, accessed by pressing the Q button.

Its autofocus system is also available when composing images with the viewfinder. It is fast and accurate even in fairly low light conditions with a lens kit installed. When using Live View mode, I found that EOS Rebel T6i/EOS 750D can quickly shoot objects while you are holding the camera in your hands. I recommend using this macro camera for beginners in close up photography.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

This lens is universal. It can create beautiful bokeh and get a shallow depth of field. Small weight and built-in Hybrid Image Stabilization are also the strengths of this lens.

Canon EOS Rebel T6i sample photo Photo taken by Canon EOS Rebel T6i

4. Nikon D500

Nikon D500 best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • It has 100% optical viewfinder
  • Tilting screen
  • Excellent controls
  • Memory card slots are dual
Cons-
  • APS-C format sensor
  • Its screen isn’t articulating
 

This camera produces great JPEG images with a decent level of vibration. If you adjust the low sensitivity, you can take photos with high details. The sensor allows you to get clear photos with fine details throughout the frame. Working with high ISO values you will not be disappointed either. If you are attentive and accurate, then even at ISO 12,800-51,200 you can observe some kind of image smoothing in the pictures.

All the details are preserved even at such high ISO settings when you are viewing in A4 format or printing in normal form. It is likely that you get JPEG images with reduced noise. Earlier I saw it in RAW photos. This macro camera provides accurate exposure thanks to universal metering which requires almost no exposure compensation to be altered.

Recommended camera lens:

Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens

The minimum focusing distance of this lens is 0.95m thanks to the 'Macro Switchover' mechanism. You can take amazing photos of insects, flowers and similar objects at a max magnification ratio of 1:2.

Nikon D500 sample photo Photo taken by Nikon D500
  • If you are not ready to waste so much money on the digital camera, look through my choice of several cheap cameras under 500 dollars that show good results too.

5. Nikon COOLPIX w300

Nikon COOLPIX w300best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Durable, waterproof assembly
  • Easy operation
  • Integrated GPS
  • Nice picture quality in good light
Cons-
  • RAW format isn’t available
  • Poor performance in low light
 

This macro camera has a 16MP CMOS sensor capable of showing excellent results when shooting in good light. Photos taken on a sunny day stand out with low noise, brightness, and precise detail. Unfortunately, you can shoot only JPEG files as the RAW format is not supported. It is worth noting that some photos slightly lack clarity around the edge.

Although in general, this cheap macro camera succeeds in daylight shooting. Macro mode is activated by simply pressing a button on the bottom of the controller. You can take close-up shots in Smart Portrait, Auto Shot, Pet Portraits, and Underwater shooting modes. With enough daylight, autofocus works quickly and accurately. If you are shooting at dusk or outdoors, then the AF system may need a little more time to focus on the subject.

Nikon COOLPIX w300sample photo Photo taken by Nikon COOLPIX w300
  • Are you just beginning your photography career and want to take incredible macro photos? Look though my review of good entry-level DSLRs that are affordable and let you take amazing photos.

6. Nikon D850

Nikon D850best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Detailed and large photos
  • AF system is reliable and sophisticated
  • The viewfinder is bright and wide
  • 19.4MP DX crop mode
  • Awesome battery life
Cons-
  • Expensive
  • Inferior to the competitors in Live View focusing speed
  • SnapBridge remains clunky
 

Nikon D850 has an impressive level of detail which is achieved thanks to a 45.4 million pixels sensor. This feature makes this model one of the best macro photography cameras. You can create large prints with many clear details. However, to get such amazing results you need to attach the appropriate lens.

Taking focus-stacked photos are often a challenge. But the D850 has a special focus shift photography function that allows you to take a sequence of up to 300 shots. The focus position gradually moves from the starting point to infinity. You can adjust the shutter interval from 0 to 30 seconds.

Recommended camera lens:

Tamron 90mm F/2.8 SP

This lens is considered to be one of the best options for macro and portrait photography. It is capable of producing clear images of objects on a blurred background.

Nikon D850 sample photo Photo taken by Nikon D850

7. Olympus PEN E-PL8

Olympus PEN E-PL8best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Pleasant dimensions
  • 7.3fps burst rate and fast focusing
  • Built-in stabilization
  • Tilting touch LCD screen
  • EVF and Wi-Fi
Cons-
  • Flash isn’t built-in
  • There is a single control dial
  • While tracking action, the shooting rate is slow
 

The Olympus camera impresses with its performance in sufficient light conditions. You can take bright, crisp, well-exposed images with this macro camera. However, in less lit conditions, you may observe a slight underexposure of images. As a result, you have to adjust exposure compensation more often than you would like.

However, this may have a positive side. There are fewer threats of blown highlights and, accordingly, the details are preserved better. To cope with a mixture of multiple lighting conditions, this macro camera has a good white balance adjustment. You get warmer tones in your pictures if you shoot in unnatural lighting conditions. To get higher accuracy, you can adjust the white balance manually by choosing more specific settings. Even if you take pictures with poor lighting, your photos look great up to ISO 6400.

Recommended camera lens:

Olympus ED 60mm f2.8 Macro

This universal lens has been optimized for macro shots. In combination with the focal length of the telephoto lens, you can get a maximum 1: 1 magnification.

Olympus PEN E-PL8sample photo Photo taken by Olympus PEN E-PL8

8. Canon EOS 77D

Canon EOS 77D best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Good 45-point autofocus
  • Convenient AF button
  • Handy touchscreen
  • Solid Live View autofocus performance
Cons-
  • Doesn’t offer 4K video support
  • Plastic
  • Average continuous shooting mode speed
 

When shooting at smaller ISO values, the pictures taken with this camera for macro photography turn out to be clean and nicely saturated. Once I increased the sensitivity, 77D’s image sensor impressed me with its performance even more. RAW pictures retouched in Camera Raw looked amazing even if taken at ISO 6,400. Of course, you can notice some luminance noise, but it’s fine-grained and doesn’t damage the overall quality of the images.

Chroma noise is practically invisible and the photos are slightly less saturated. However, if you increase the ISO value more, the pictures will lose a lot of detail and saturation, while the amount of noise will become excessive. I highly recommend you not to shoot with such camera settings, although the photo quality is still usable if you have to work in poor lighting conditions. The JPEGs produced by this macro camera look amazing and have accurate, rich colors.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro USM

This lens has a 3-group floating mechanism that allows you to take amazing close-up shots, an ultra-sonic monitor designed to improve the AF speed at all lengths, and manual focusing support even when using autofocus.

Canon EOS 77D sample photo Photo taken by Canon EOS 77D

9. Fujifilm x100f

Fujifilm x100f best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Stylish design
  • Hybrid VF
  • Impressive picture qualit
  • y Long-lasting battery
  • Vintage film modes
Cons-
  • Changing ISO with a dial isn’t convenient
  • Supports only 1080p recording
 

X100F is a macro lens camera that has a highly efficient 24.3MP image sensor that captures an amazing amount of detail. The photos become slightly less detailed as you increase the ISO value, but even at 6,400 they still look impressive. Regarding this model’s ISO range, if you’ll stick to shooting at the lower values, you’ll take very clean photographs with great color accuracy.

I was also pleased with the camera’s dynamic range. At lower ISO, it’s possible to capture a lot of details in shadowed and highlighted areas (if they weren’t clipped) and recover them during the photo retouching stage without damaging the picture’s quality. In addition, this camera has 4 latitude stops and Fujifilm’s own Dynamic Range mode.

Fujifilm x100f sample photo Photo taken by Fujifilm x100f

10. Olympus OMD E-M1

Olympus OMD E-M1 best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Amazing digital viewfinder
  • Convenient and accurate autofocus
  • Satisfying image quality
  • Reliable build
Cons-
  • Non-articulating LCD screen
  • Finding several features is very hard
 

Whenever I need the best macro camera that can handle shadows or highlights, I can rely on E-M1’s two HDR modes that help me make the images more detailed (one that makes subtle adjustments with the other being harsher). This model’s automatic White Balance offers amazing accuracy that boosts the picture quality and provides a coherent color palette regardless of the shooting conditions.

Unedited images also have nice colors and you can use some of E-M1’s customized color settings if you want to achieve a distinct look for your photographs. Regarding the amount of noise on higher sensitivity values, I must note that this camera has surprised me. The noise is barely visible on lower ISO settings (up to 1600), after which it becomes more noticeable in the darker parts of the shot. That being said, the image quality remained satisfying all the way up to ISO 6,400.

Recommended camera lens:

Olympus M.Zuiko ED M. 60mm f/2.8

This model offers an impressive life-size 1-to-1 max zoom and a minimal focus distance of 7.5-inches, making it a good choice for macro cameras.

Olympus OMD E-M1 sample photo Photo taken by Olympus OMD E-M1

11. Sony RX10 Mark III

Sony RX10 Mark III best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Great 24-600mm lens with an amazing speed
  • Top-notch performance on higher ISO
  • Articulating LCD
  • Impressive photo and video footage quality
Cons-
  • AF performs poorly on larger focal lengths
  • Can be too big and heavy
 

This Sony camera has a 1” image sensor that allows you to take incredibly detailed photographs with high sharpness. While the pictures are a bit softer on the far end of the telephoto optics, that doesn’t impact their quality unless you’re planning on printing them in large sizes.

Zoom functionality of Mark III deserves a special mention. It has a 25-times optical zoom that has an electronic “Clear Zoom” function, which offers nice performance and is perfect if you need to get a closer shot but can’t approach your subject.

Sony RX10 Mark III sample photo Photo taken by Sony RX10 Mark III

12. Nikon D7500

Nikon D7500 best camera for macro photography View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Nice image sensor
  • Amazing performance on high ISO
  • Continuous shooting mode with up to 8fps
  • Tilting display
Cons-
  • Poor rear display resolution
  • Has a single SD card slot
 

This macro photography camera allows taking highly detailed pictures at low ISO values, but this model’s true strength is revealed when you increase the sensitivity. Even if you increase the sensitivity up to 12,800 and there is a bit of chromatic noise, the results are still good.

As you can guess, luminance noise is a serious issue when shooting at 25600 and 51200 ISO, but photos look better than other cameras can produce at these settings. I don’t advise you go any higher though, because the images will be too murky and soft. The dynamic range is great. It allows you to capture shadow details, take a decent quality photo even if it was underexposed by 5 stops.

Recommended camera lens:

Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro

This model can capture subjects in a 1-to-1 ratio at 30cm. This will allow you to gain a bit of distance from the object for more freedom and still have great magnification.

Nikon D7500 sample photo Photo taken by Nikon D7500

List of 12 Best Cameras for Macro Photography

 
Image Name Details  
Olympus TG-5
Olympus TG-5
OUR CHOICE
  • 12 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Fujifilm X-T10
Fujifilm X-T10
POINT AND SHOOT
  • 16 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
FOR BEGINNERS
  • 24.2 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Nikon D500
Nikon D500
PROFESSIONAL
  • 20.9 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Nikon COOLPIX w300
Nikon COOLPIX w300 Camera
BUDGET
  • 16 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Nikon D850
Nikon D850
  • 45.7 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Olympus PEN E-PL8
Olympus PEN E-PL8
  • 16 MP
  • Live MOS
Check PRICE
Canon EOS 77D
Canon EOS 77D
  • 24.2 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Fujifilm x100f
Fujifilm x100f
  • 24.3 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Olympus OM-D E-M1
Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • 16.3 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX10 Mark III
  • 20.1 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Nikon D7500
Nikon D7500
  • 20.9 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE

How to Choose a Camera for Macro Photography?

You have to consider several aspects when choosing the best camera for macro photography:

1. Lens

best camera for macro photography

Tthe lens is probably the second most vital choice you have to make if your goal is to take great macro photos. A must-have characteristic of a macro lens is 1:1 magnification that allows you to capture objects in their lifelike size. The minimal focus distance is also an important factor since it determines the distance you can have from the subject and still focus accurately.

2. Display

best camera for macro photography

If you’re leaning towards purchasing a DSLR close up camera, you should give preference to models that have a Live View feature that allows you to use the display as a viewfinder. It’s also great if the camera has an articulating screen since it will help you avoid many uncomfortable situations when taking macro shots.

3. Focal Length

best camera for macro photography

Lastly, there’s one more thing you need to think about when choosing a macro lens. Even though they are mostly designed for one specific purpose, a lot of photographers use them for general needs too. Thus, if you want to find a universal lens that can shoot good macro, a 50mm model can be a great pick. As long as you remember these things when searching for the best camera for close ups, you shouldn’t experience any trouble finding the perfect option for you.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more